5 Things to Cut Back On to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

iStock_000006413163XSmallGlobal warming is out in full force, and it’s hard not to recognize that it’s there. Our planet is being hugely affected by the population’s carelessness, pollution, and usage of harmful materials that go back into the environment.

Most of us want to do right by the planet and decrease our environmental footprint where possible, but it’s hard to know where to start. Here are a few helpful tips on things to stop using that will not only reduce your environmental footprint, but also help you save some cash along the way:

Paper Towels & Napkins

While paper is not inherently bad for the environment (it’s really just an organic material) it’s the pollution created when creating paper that is bad. If even a few people stop using these products, and start using cloth napkins and products, there will be less paper products produced, meaning less pollution being pumped into the environment.

I have never been a big paper user; I find that I run out of paper towel when I do buy it and forget to replace it, and then I end up using cloth anyway. You get used to not using them quickly.

Hair Tools

Ladies, I know that we can be particular about our hair and really, unstyled hair is not flattering on most people, but hair tools such as blow dryers and flat irons use a ton of electricity which increases your  carbon footprint. Maybe you find ways to cut down your usage of these tools to every second day or only a couple of times per week, anything helps.

Disposable Razors

Disposable razors use plastic, which is not very decomposable and ends up in our landfills for decades. Furthermore, the manufacturing of disposable razors pollutes big time.

This is something that almost everybody can cut out and come out ahead. There are plenty of non disposable options available out there in stores and online that you can purchase. Most of them require that you change the blade, but not only do these razors work better and more effectively than their disposable counterparts, but they also tend to cost less over the life of the product.

Household Chemicals

I know bleach seems ultra-effective when it comes to getting stains out of white cloth, getting bacteria out of dishwater, and even removing tough, baked on stains from cookie sheets and other cookware, but it’s not good for the environment OR for your health.  Try using natural household chemicals or putting a little more elbow grease into cleaning.

Plastic Bags

We’ve already addressed that plastic does a terrible job at decomposing in our landfills, and often it ends up in our ocean for the sea life to consume or get entangled in, which ruins not only our environment and eco system but our oceans as well.

I am shocked when I still see people using plastic bags for anything other than garbage. Not only is putting your sandwich in a plastic sandwich bag terrible for the environment, as they are single use, but also terrible for your wallet (and some might argue your health, too).  Investing in some glass containers to hold your lunch and snacks when you are going to work, or even some plastic containers (the better of the two evils), will reduce your carbon footprint and help save you money.

Any single use product that you are using is wasteful on many different fronts.

While many may write off reducing their own footprint by claiming that one person doesn’t make a difference, it is up to all of us to scale back on waste and change our culture to be more environmentally friendly. These things may be painful to cut back on at first, but overall the planet, your wallet, and your health will thank you in the long run.


5 Things to Cut Back On to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint — 11 Comments

  1. I really agree with all of them, especially about plastic waste. Most of the things in the world are made up of plastic, which is very bad for our Mother Earth. i hope there can be a law that will ban or lessen the production of plastic.

  2. I’m pretty good on items 2-5 – not so good on item 1 I must admit. Carrying cloth bags to the store has become pretty much second nature now!

  3. I never realized how much space the waste of one human being took, until we started living in a place with no garbage collection. We had to dig a 1 cubic meter hole for the garbage, and I want to try and fill it in twice the time a normal household would. Still, it is impressive when you consider that just one person produces so much garbage.

  4. Our waste for 2 peeps is a cause for much chagrin. We do tear our paper towels in half, even the invent-a-size ones. I feel better about the plastic bags since we do only use them for garbage. If we forget to stop the checkout person form giving us a plastic bag, then we use it over and over for laundry on trips, carrying items to and fro and messy jobs. And I will consider a real razor. ‘Bout time for that anyhow;)

  5. See, I knew my big frizzy hair was good for something – the environment! 😉 I am too lazy to do it on most days, and a bun does me just fine.

    I think we’re going to have to look into an electric/reusable razor as it’s the one thing on the list we’re currently not addressing. Thank you, Daisy!

  6. I’m sort of torn on using paper products vs cloth towels. One requires using water and detergent to clean, the other requires cutting down trees and the pollution associated with making them. I have a well, so I’m always very conscious of my water usage. I know it probably isn’t the right choice, but I really on paper products alot more then I probably should.

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